Re: Stevan Ridley has the highest rushing average in team history!!!
posted at 10/2/2013 9:47 AM EDT
In response to Beantowne's comment:
In response to scash2013's comment:
Curtis Martin was a gamebreaker, a Hall of Fame running back that defenses had to plan around. Implying that Ridley is, or ever will be, in his league is just silly.
Best case scenario for Ridley, if he stops fumbling, is a poor man's Antwoine Smith. He could be a solid back, that's his ceiling. Don't let the numbers fool you.
I'd say that given Ridley size and speed he's closer to Martin than Smith who was a north south runner similar to Cunningham, Dillon and Nance. Comparing Ridley stats to any of them is an exercise in futility each of them played in entirely different run dominant offenses. Dillon might be better example of Ridleys upside but even Dillon was a between the tackles north south runner. Who carried the ball 25 times a game and wore defenses out. Of the backs on our roster Blount is more in line with the above. Martin was the prototypical halfback in a two back set.
As for Ridley propensity to put the ball on the turf. Statistically speaking his run to fumble ratio is not out of the norm there's many HOF backs with simlilar pct to start their careers. Fumbling is a function of ball security and many of his fumbles have come when he's trying to extend a run and allows the defender to put his helmet on the ball. Which is what happened in last years AFC Championship game against Baltimore...When he was knocked out on a helmet to helmet hit. Which I still think should have resulted in a flag. So it's double edged sword, you want him to continue to drive his legs and get the tough yards, sometimes it better just to go down and protect the football.
I agree with most of what you said. The stats were put out there by the team. I don't subscribe to the idea that the stats prove Ridley is a better runner than Dillon, Martin, Cunningham or Nance. The idea that he could be the leading rushing average back for the team on an all-time basis was shocking to me. He has miles to go (literally) before we can consider him in the same league as some of these guys from the past.
Having said that, I think he has a chance to be a great runner. He needs to get better on ball protection and needs to develop more confidence in following his blockers, both of which will come with time and experience. He has more raw talent than he gets credit for, though. I think the team sees that potential and they are being more patient with him than usual.